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Healthy Eating: How Long Does it Take to Become a STRONG Habit?
BigDaddyMatty posted:

Let's saw someone goes on a healthy diet like the DASH Diet for example. They realize their weight loss goal and then become diligent about maintaining their new weight by continuing to eat healthy.

Just how long does it take to develop a STRONG habit to eat healthy? I know there are a lot of variables and it differs from person to person but are we talking 3 months or 6 months or a year or 5 years? I would like to get a rough idea. Thanks.
jis4judy responded:
Hi Matty
I have been maintaining for almost 10 years a healthy eating journey I can tell you that there will be slip ups to old eating habits the key is to not allow them to become habits again /
it seems to me my old bad eating habits are not gone they are just sleeping and waiting for me to slip up, the idea is to not let them take hold again .. be vigilant and keep on the healthy journey there are so many benifits for your body //
so I have a rule I follow and it is if I slip I have to get on my plan asap and stay there for a month . this works for me
most times It is easy for me to stay on my healthy eating
that came during the weight removal stage the firat year BUT be aware of slips you had one the other day I think put it behind you and move forward to the health you that you deserve.
Hugs Judy:)
Sw 247 Cw 149ish

remember the gold isn;t in the prize it is in the journey!
life may not be the party we expected but while we are here we may as well dance!
BigDaddyMatty replied to jis4judy's response:
Thanks Judy.

Your comment " seems to me my old bad eating habits are not gone they are just sleeping and waiting for me to slip up..." really hits home.

I don't think it will ever be easy (for at least me) to remain at a healthy weight. I suspect it going to take a lifetime of rather hardcore diligence. I'm not sure eating the right/healthy thing will ever become the default. Thanks again.
abnersmom replied to BigDaddyMatty's response:
Hi Matty, I'm only a few months and 1 year into my journey and about 7 lbs. from my goal weight so I'm certainly not an expert, but I think what you say about "hardcore diligence" along with vigilance about food choices and exercise is what it is going to take for us all. Judy and I have had this conversation before and she knows that being able to maintain my healthy weight scares me more than anything on this journey. Like so many others, I have lost lots of weight before only to regain it. Thanks to Judy and many others in the 50-100 lb. support group, I feel that I actually have a PLAN for maintenance this time and the support to keep me accountable. One last thing - I am going to weigh myself daily for the rest of my life. I know there are people who don't recommend it, but it keeps me focused and aware.
BigDaddyMatty replied to abnersmom's response:
Hi abnersmom;

Your comment "...being able to maintain my healthy weight scares me more than anything on this journey..." really resonated with me.

I guess I had always hoped to be one of those guys who stays in fairly good shape without having to make huge effort and without being obsessive about it.

I've come to the realization that I am either going to be truly hard and in good shape OR a tub with little chance of being anything in between. I'm in the process of trying to accept that my eating is going to have to become (actually remain) a healthy obsession that's going to take a ton of diligence over the rest of my life.
Tomato05 responded:
I think it varies and depends on the individual. Some people are more 'animals of routine' than others and take more comfort in safe and familiar routines.

Also, the more you deviate the more you will struggle to make it an automated part of your life. If your deviations are planned (say a few special treats every Sunday) it should be OK.

I think with diligence and perseverance it will become the preferred and automatic way for you, and you may not even notice the change as it will be gradual.

The day may never come that you will be totally immune against temptations, but with constant practice the day should come when you can even yield to a temptation in a controlled way and afterwards go back to your "new" habits without giving into temptation all that soon again.
BigDaddyMatty replied to Tomato05's response:
It would be nice to maintain my target weight without being obsessed and overly rigorous but I don't think that will work.

I am focused on collecting/developing recipes and menus right now. Hopefully with enough structure I can maintain my target weight once I realize it.
brunosbud responded:
What does eating "healthy" mean to you?

I know what it means to me...It doesn't mean sht. Any food consumed with no mention of portion size is potentially, "unhealthy".

In other words, everybody on this freakin' board eats "healthy". But, how many eat, "safely"?

Very few...

I think its wise, BDM, that you are "obsessing" about your diet. It means, for the first time in your life, you're questioning the legitimacy, ie., the "safety", of what you put into your mouth, everyday. This is good but with one stipulation...

It's not so much what you eat. It's how much.

PS: Most people, here, would argue, "food does no harm; people who abuse food harm themselves." I use to think the same thing. No more. The majority of food, today, is not safe, imo...In any portion size.
BigDaddyMatty replied to brunosbud's response:
I think both the quantity and type of food that one eats makes a difference.

Not only from a nutrition and caloric standpoint, but also from a temptation standpoint. On one extreme if I had no food at all in my house and a chef arrived before every mealtime with the supplies and talent to prepare for me a healthy meal, I suspect I would have far less trouble than if I had a roomate who kept the refrigerator and kitchen stocked with chips, pie and ice cream.

I ENVY those who can have a healthy sandwich and a handful of potato chips or pretzels for lunch. I don't think I can unless it's away from home and I leave after I eat. I'll have the sandwich and a 1/2 or full bag of chips/pretzels. I think my reality (at least at home) is ZERO chips/pretzels...
Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to BigDaddyMatty's response:
Interesting discussion!

I'd love it if you can share some of your menus and recipes! We do have food and cooking resources here that might give you some ideas:

WebMD Food & Recipe Center

WebMD Food & Cooking Community - tell moderator Chrissy I say "hey"

BigDaddyMatty replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
I will be happy to share the recipes. I think some people might attack them for not being as balanced as they could be or overly simplistic or too high in sodium but that's OK.

Their value is for those that "cook" for themselves and need recipes they'll actually prepare and consume.

In time I will take these recipes and adjust them so they will be for maintenance rather than weight loss. I'll post a PDF in a couple of weeks.
Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to BigDaddyMatty's response:
I work full time and have 2 picky kids and a husband that thinks bacon should be a required food group.

I'm not balanced all the time but I pick and choose my battles, ya know?

I did trick my 4 year old off of her hunger strike by telling her I had a "Shrek Milkshake" for her - vanilla yogurt, 1/2 banana, a few frozen chunks of mango and 2 huge handfuls of spinach.

Need to find out how to get some protein in there and I'll be good to go with her for a few more days


p.s. BDM - put up a profile photo!
BigDaddyMatty replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
Protein powder...
Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to BigDaddyMatty's response:
Great pic Big Daddy!

I didn't think about that! Just looked up info here:
Do You Need Protein Powders?

Because of her young age, I'll run it by her pediatrician first but thanks for the idea! I'll throw anything healthy in that blender as long as she'll drink it.

goldfish43 replied to brunosbud's response:
I agree potion is impotant but CHOICE is equally as important...Too much of anything is not healthy.....Be reasonable and make friends with fruits and veggies as well as smaller portions of protein, but include protein in each meal and snacks if you have snacks in your plan...AND DO NOT eliminate carbs ...just reduce them and eat more fiber to stay feelingfull.
NOW if I followed my own advise I would not be overweight
OH NO, I forgot walking or any exercise done daily is also important to losing LBS....

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